Posted on | August 28, 2009 | Comments Off
The National Science Foundation awarded a five-year, $2.8 million grant to Mānoa’s Institute for Astronomy to support the Akamai Workforce Initiative, which prepares Hawaiʻi college students for science and technology jobs available on Maui and across the state, with an emphasis on jobs related to astronomy, remote sensing and instrumentation.
The grant will enable the AWI to build on a training program that integrates the technical and research expertise of faculty and graduate students from the IfA with practical high-tech work experience. AWI will include paid high-technology summer internships, new courses in engineering technology at Maui, outreach to high schools, and a program that helps scientists and engineers become better educators.
The precursor to AWI, the Akamai program, has encouraged more than 80 percent of its students over the last decade to remain in technology jobs or continue their education. All students in the Akamai program have ties to Hawaiʻi, 80 percent were either born in Hawaiʻi or graduated from a Hawaiʻi high school, and about 25 percent of them are Native Hawaiian.
The program was developed during the last decade through funding by the NSF Center for Adaptive Optics at the University of California, Santa Cruz in partnership with the IfA, Maui Community College, the Air Force, the Maui Economic Development Board, local Maui industry partners, and Mauna Kea Observatories.